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Infineon launches EU projects for power and AI


Collaboration with 98 partners focuses on energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions

To tackle the climate crisis, Infineon in Villach, Austria, is launching two European research projects: the ALL2GaN project focuses on easily-integrated GaN chips; and AIMS5.0 will use AI to create resource-efficient manufacturing and optimise supply chain management.

The projects, worth a total of €130 million, bring together 98 partners from 18 countries. Both projects will run for three years and are funded by industry investments, grants from the individual countries involved, and the European Key Digital Technologies research program

The research project ALL2GaN (Affordable smart GaN IC solutions for greener applications), led by Infineon Austria, brings together 45 partners from twelve countries with a total budget of around €60 million. The aim is to fully exploit the energy-saving potential of highly efficient power semiconductors made of GaN, to integrate them easily and quickly into many applications, and thus to reduce emissions.

Following the development of GaN chips at Infineon-Villach, the research team is working on novel GaN power semiconductors that will be modular and easily embedded in many applications through an integration toolbox. The research extends from individual chip elements, high-performance GaN modules, to chip designs and novel system-on-chip approaches. The advantage: variably adaptable GaN system solutions mean faster integration into applications, energy efficiency increases, and CO 2 emissions decrease

Telecommunications, data centres and server farms are expected to benefit from the highly integrable GaN chip generation 'Made in Europe', as will e-mobility, renewable energies and highly efficient smart grid solutions. Projections show that this new GaN chip generation can reduce energy losses in applications by an average of 30 percent. This is roughly equivalent to 218 megatons of CO2 saved worldwide.

"GaN technologies are paving the way for applications that drive decarbonisation. Applications such as mobile charging, data centre power supplies, residential solar inverters and onboard chargers for electric vehicles are at the tipping point," said Adam White, division president, Power and Sensor Systems, Infineon Technologies AG. "With the All2GaN research project, energy-saving chips made of GaN can now be developed even faster and easily embedded in many applications thanks to the integration toolbox. The research project opens up enormous application potential and creates sustainable benefits."

Greener industry with Artificial Intelligence

In the second EU research project EU project AIMS5.0 (Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing leading to Sustainability and Industry 5.0), research is being conducted on smart AI technologies for resource-efficient manufacturing in Europe. A 53-partner strong consortium of producers, suppliers, research institutions and AI specialists from twelve countries is thus paving the way for an economical, ecologically sustainable Industry 5.0 and the European Green Deal. The project is worth €70 million and is led by Infineon Technologies in Munich.

Efficiency, i.e. doing more with less, is one of the main, economic principles and the aim of this project is to improve it using safe AI methods. The AIMS5.0 team is taking a common AI approach across industries and applications for the first time. It is about the development and production of hardware and software components and a secure AI networking platform. The hope is that the results strengthen manufacturing in mechanical engineering, semiconductors, electronics as well as in the automotive industry and create resilient supply chains in Europe.

"With this project, we are providing the technologies of tomorrow. With AI research, we are supporting a modern and sustainable industry. This benefits the partners directly and subsequently many other manufacturing sectors. It strengthens the entire industry and know-how location as well as the technological sovereignty in Europe," explains Thomas Morgenstern, executive director Frontend Infineon Technologies AG and adds: "At the same time, the project also develops the AI skills of employees through training and qualification methods and improves human-machine interaction.

The kick-off event and thus the official start of both pioneering, European projects will take place on May 23, 2023 at Infineon's Villach site. Both EU projects are co-funded by the KDT-JU (Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking) program of the European Union and the participating countries.

Henriette Spyra, section Hhad for Innovation and Technology at the Austrian Ministry for Climate Protection: "The two Infineon projects show us very well that in many seemingly specific, individual and technical optimisation processes, such as the use of new semiconductor materials for power electronics or the use of advanced AI for the management of complex supply chains, there is enormous potential for achieving sustainability goals. These must be uncovered and implemented. Then these pacesetting technologies can act as 'Tech4Green', as drivers for long-term sustainability transformations."

Yves Gigase, director KDT JU: "The projects make an extremely important contribution to the implementation of the KDT JU portfolio. They address the top priorities of current European policies, such as the Green Deal. They are about the development of power electronics for energy-efficient applications and European digital autonomy with the introduction of AI in the industrial value chain to increase productivity and more sustainable production. With the European Chips Act, the results of these projects will play an even more important role in many digital applications."

Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG: "Investments in key technologies are essential for achieving the climate targets. This can be achieved through research, cooperation with the best partners and innovations with real impact - as extrapolated here with a savings potential of 218 million tons of C 2. With these two projects, we are doing just that. Together, we can develop sustainable products and processes faster and make a decisive contribution to decarbonisation and digitisation. The results strengthen industry and Europe as a location in global competition. They bring more strategic autonomy for Europe and our society, secure supply chains and are a turbo for an energy-efficient future."

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